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New Catechumen

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Pravoslavie, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. Pravoslavie

    Pravoslavie New Member

    8
    +12
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    In Relationship
    Hello all.

    I put up a very short introductory post in the Introductions forum last night, but thought I should introduce myself here properly. I'm a mid-40s male living in AZ, and I'm also a new catechumen in ROCOR. I live in a pretty small town that only has a mission, and we have a priest from a nearby city come down here once a month to hold Divine Liturgy. I've actually only been to about 3 Divine Liturgies so far, with one being at the home parish of the priest who comes to our mission, so I'm still a bit lost when it comes to what to do and when to do it.

    For those who converted to Orthodoxy from another faith, how long did it take you to get used to all of the actions you need to take? Before taking the plunge, I had spent several years reading up about the Orthodox Church, so I have a good handle on the theology and history of the church, and I've been trying to pray every day, but right now everything that one needs to do not only in Divine Liturgy, but in everyday life, seems a bit overwhelming for me. Even the Catholic church didn't make so many demands, and they were a lot more than the Baptist church I grew up in. I know the catechism process is going to be a long time, but right now the goalposts seem to be very, very far away. It's not a race, of course, but I'm just curious how long it takes to really get used to everything.
     
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  2. SamanthaAnastasia

    SamanthaAnastasia Just a library lady

    652
    +640
    Germany
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    :hi:
    I’m new too!

    I grew up in a nominal Christian household who never went to church.
    I’m 33 or 34 I stopped counting at 30 lol
    I was baptized last year.
    I started going to a Protestant Pentecostal church when I was about 23ish. I became very mentally ill then I moved to a Protestant reformed Presbyterian church. They were very nice. I actually felt calm and peace there.
    But I was still searching and looking and reading and I found the orthodox Christian church.
    I went to my first service stateside before I moved to Germany.
    We have a very small church here in base.
    We haven’t had service in awhile but that’s because of the military and PCS season.
    I really didn’t have a catechism process.
    I don’t really know how I feel about that.

    I can’t really give great advice.
    The Jesus prayer is the best way to start praying every day.
    And don’t think about goalposts. I know you said it’s not a race but from someone who really didn’t have a catechism process: enjoy it? Learn what you can. Embrace it.
    Also welcome and God bless!
     
  3. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

    +16,482
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    welcome to TAW!

    it took about a year-ish til I got to the point where it wasn't awkward for me.
     
  4. HTacianas

    HTacianas Well-Known Member

    +6,640
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Download an Orthodox calendar from google Play. It will help with the daily things.
     
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  5. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

    +1,571
    United States
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    Much of our living faith centers around Matthew 6:1-18 in which the Lord teaches us to give alms, pray, & fast. Our basic daily prayers are our Trisagion prayers: Trisagion Prayers

    The brief, ancient church manual of the Didache is a good synopsis of our living faith: Didache
     
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  6. Pravoslavie

    Pravoslavie New Member

    8
    +12
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    In Relationship
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Most of what I was referring to actually has to do with what to do during Divine Liturgy, such as when to make the sign of the cross in liturgy, when to bow, etc. Last weekend when I went to Divine Liturgy I tried to follow along the best I could, but of course did a few things wrong and felt rather foolish. I'm honestly still out of my element there, as it is far different from what I'm used to.

    Regarding prayers, I think I've been a bit better on those. I have the Jordanville Prayer Book and have been doing my morning and evening prayers every day, and even do the Jesus Prayer throughout the day. Someone earlier recommended downloading an Orthodox calendar app, which I did, and I can already see it's going to be a great resource.

    Anyways, I appreciate the advice everyone has given me!
     
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  7. Lawrence87

    Lawrence87 Active Member

    347
    +410
    Western Sahara
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    I'm pretty new too. It took me a while to get to grips with everything and I'm sure I'm still not 100% down with it all. Don't stress, the priest isn't going to call the liturgy to a halt and demand your expulsion because you didn't cross yourself at the right time.

    In regards to prayers it's best to establish a rule with your priest. If you are struggling to read all the prayers or you don't have time, explain the situation to them and they will take that into account.
     
  8. peregrinus2017

    peregrinus2017 Active Member

    243
    +332
    Canada
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    I hope you never get used to everything. :sorry:
    I love the nervous anticipation I still feel going to liturgy.
    I'm sure you have a lot on your plate, my only suggestion is if you can, read the lives of the saints. The prologue of Ohrid or something.
    Your bar at the side says you are in a relationship. If you don't mind sharing, are they in the process of conversion with you?
     
  9. Pravoslavie

    Pravoslavie New Member

    8
    +12
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    In Relationship
    My girlfriend is already Orthodox, and lives in Ukraine (I lived there myself for 7 years). I think she has a bit of disillusionment with the church, though, so we haven't talked about my conversion a whole lot, although she is aware of it. Of course, she doesn't seem to mind that I'm converting.
     
  10. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

    +16,482
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    I wouldn't worry about that. just follow the rest of the parish and you'll catch up in no time.
     
  11. Phronema

    Phronema Well-Known Member Supporter

    +1,320
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    I wouldn't worry about this at all. We all start somewhere, and during the Divine Liturgy people are usually focused on the Liturgy itself, prayer, etc. I highly doubt anyone is judging you for this, and you'll certainly pick it up over time. Also there are some potentially helpful videos on YouTube with Frederica Mathewes-Green on a channel entitled "Theoria" for people who are newer to the Orthodox Church.

    I would speak to your priest about this as he can help you best. One of the best things I've been told, and has been reiterated to me is that ones prayer life is less about the quantity of the prayers, and more about the quality of those prayers. Praying less prayers more meaningfully rather than rushing through them to pray more has been stressed to me by priests as being of paramount importance. I'm not suggesting that you're rushing through them as I have no idea if you are, but I do think it should be mentioned just in case.

    Ultimately though your priest can certainly help with this.
     
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  12. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

    +18,331
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Generally, we make the sign of the cross at any mention of "Father, Son and Holy Spirit". You can do it anytime you are moved to, though. Whenever the priest or deacon bows towards us, the congregation, we bow in return. You can also bow before an icon in veneration.
     
  13. gurneyhalleck1

    gurneyhalleck1 Reader

    +6,676
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    US-Others
    When in doubt, cross. Sometimes I cross myself even when others don’t. When we pray for bishop Maxim, I cross, when they mention St. John of Shanghai, whom I love(!), I cross. When we pray for president, I cross. Most if not all dont. But nobody cares.
     
  14. Lukaris

    Lukaris Orthodox Christian Supporter

    +1,571
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    I was trying to find an online pdf of the Divine Liturgy that included some instructions when people sit & stand but failed. There are online liturgies of course. The pocket prayer book of the Antiochian Church has the DL with notes as to when we are to stand etc. & is good to have. There are undoubtedly small variations between Orthodox jurisdictions also.

    Orthodox Prayers | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese
     
  15. prodromos

    prodromos Senior Veteran Supporter

    +8,862
    Australia
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Hopefully, being ROCOR, that shouldn't be an issue, as they wouldn't have pews to sit down on anyway ^_^
     
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  16. Pravoslavie

    Pravoslavie New Member

    8
    +12
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    In Relationship
    I have the Jordanville Prayer Book, which has these instructions, and they're quire numerous. That is part of what prompted me to mention this, actually. Remembering all of the rules in there is going to be quite a chore.
     
  17. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

    +16,482
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    that's why it's best to just follow along during the services. you pick up on what to do naturally.
     
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  18. JacobRadly

    JacobRadly New Member

    2
    +0
    Belgium
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Deleted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2021
  19. JacobRadly

    JacobRadly New Member

    2
    +0
    Belgium
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Deleted.
     
  20. Melily

    Melily Member

    100
    +148
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Prayers for you. I’m new as well. We went to our first Divine Liturgy only 8 months ago and since it was during covid lockdown there were differences. I was getting accustomed to things and now I feel awkward again because I don’t know the proper way to venerate the icons. I worried last night after Great Vespers that the priest might think poorly of me because I just crossed myself and sort of bowed.
     
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